This old adage does not mean that we cannot stand up for ourselves, or state our opinions.
What it does mean, is that our voice and tone should not sound shrill, harsh, sharp or jarring. We should attempt not to screech, scream, roar, holler or express expletives when speaking.
Our communication skills should be developed so that control and awareness of how we sound to others and to become conscious enough to see the non-verbal reactions of the ones being spoken to.
Once spoken, what we say and how we say it, can never be taken back. The words and tone used can have a devastating or an uplifting effect. It is all in one’s delivery. Our speech should not be sarcastic, or demeaning. We can still sound firm in a kindly manner.
We should be able to say anything to anybody, especially when dealing with personalities that may have phobia’s and insecurities, in the same tone of voice for example that we ask “please pass the salt.” There is no judgement or assessment just stating a request.
With a voice tone of gentleness and kindness initiates more attention to what is being said, rather than have individuals you are trying to make a point with, react negatively then becoming un-co-operative by putting their back up due to an accusing or blaming tone of voice.
It is not easy task, but a level of personal development to be practiced daily. Some days, successful, and other days not so, but we keep working at it.
Old fashioned manners required that one of class, always spoke softly and politely, treating everyone that came into their space with dignity and respect.
The world would be such a better place if we could just practice being kind and polite.